ABC iview: five top shows streaming free right now

From Utopia to Gold Diggers, these shows should keep you happily entertained for weeks.

Whether it’s comedy you’re after or … well, these are mostly comedy – here are five shows streaming now on ABC that should see you through the coldest and darkest days of winter and beyond.


Utopia. Image: ABC.

Genre: Comedy.

About: A satire about the difficult process of taking grand, uncosted, inadequately planned, fundamentally flawed schemes – and passing them off as ‘Nation Building’. All five seasons are currently available to stream.

Stars: Rob Sitch, Celia Pacquola, Kitty Flanagan.

Director: Rob Sitch.

ScreenHub rating: 4 stars.

It is a rock solid, 100% reliable formula for delivering jokes about how politics – both generally and in the office – is all about substance over spin. Time and again we’re told that conflicting forces in society mean most issues will never be seriously tackled, and our government is much too interested in staying in government to govern in the public interest. It’s topical yet timeless; no wonder Utopia gets referenced every time a big infrastructure project looks set to syphon billions out of the national purse.

Utopia season 5 review: an ABC winner returns

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Queen of Oz

Queen of Oz. Image: ABC.

Genre: Comedy.

About: Princess Georgiana is the spare to the British throne but her constant public scandals threaten the monarchy’s future. In an effort to get her as far away from London as possible, Georgie’s parents send her off to Australia.

Stars: Catherine Tate.

Director: Christiaan Van Vuuren.

ScreenHub rating: 3 stars.

After throwing up on a school child in public – twice – the UK’s notorious party Princess Georgiana (Catherine Tate) is given some exciting news. Thanks to her low public standing (as one person in a vox pop says, ‘She’s a bloody numpty, mate’) she’s being shipped off to Australia to somehow turn back a rising tide of republican discontent. How a woman who wears a sleep mask that says ‘Fuck Off’ is going to do that is a question best not asked.

Queen of Oz on ABC review: irate Tate heads a show that’s not great

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Read: Ten great films streaming free on ABC and SBS right now

Gold Diggers

Gold Diggers. Image: ABC.

Genre: Comedy.

About: Set in the 1850s, as thousands of men flock to the goldfields to hit the jackpot, follow the adventures of sisters Gert and Marigold and their ambition to strike it rich by landing themselves newly-rich idiots.

Stars: Claire Lovering, Danielle Walker, Eddie Perfect.

Director: Helena Brooks.

ScreenHub rating: 4 stars.

The 1850s gold rush is ripe for comedy: a wild time when people from all over the world, rich and poor, had to rub shoulders in new towns that had sprung up from nowhere. And they partied hard, because there was no other entertainment for miles.

Gold Diggers review: ABC comedy glisters but rarely shines

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Fisk. Image: ABC.

Genre: Comedy.

About: Probate lawyer Helen Tudor-Fisk has secured her position at Gruber and Associates and now faces fresh new challenges from the volatile world of wills and estates.

Stars: Kitty Flanagan, Julia Zemiro, Aaron Chen.

Director: Kitty Flanagan & Tom Peterson.

ScreenHub rating: 4.5 stars.

We’re often told that drama is supposedly somehow superior to comedy, and yet the character work in Fisk puts most recent Australian dramas to shame. The subtle way everyone – except for Fisk herself – in Fisk doesn’t quite get along but stays in their own bubbles just enough to make society work is the kind of characterisation that would win awards if it was happening in a scenic country town with a dark past.

Also, it’s very funny.

Fisk Season 2 review: Australia’s funniest sitcom in years

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Bay of Fires

Bay of Fires. Image: ABC.

Genre: Mystery.

About: Stella Heikkinen’s fall from grace is as spectacular as it is life threatening. Betrayed by her own and in immediate danger, Stella has no option but to move her young family to the last place on earth anyone would expect.

Stars: Marta Dusseldorp, Toby Leonard Moore, Pamela Rabe.

Director: Natalie Bailey & ‎Wayne Blair.

ScreenHub rating: 2.5 stars.

It’s lucky that Bay of Fires is screening on the ABC, where shows can afford to indulge in whole peninsulas worth of slow narrative burns and trust that audiences will stick around to see them pay off. I can’t see this working as well on a streaming service, where audiences might just pick something else to watch.

Bay of Fires on ABC review: excruciating attempts at comedy

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Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites